Theresa Marie Jondall
BORN: March 7, 1889, in Lost Island Twp., Palo Alto County, Iowa
DIED: August 26, 1936, in Emmetsburg Twp., Palo Alto County, Iowa
AGED: 47 years, 5 months, 21 days
BURIED: South Walnut Cemetery, Walnut Twp., Palo Alto County, Iowa
FATHER: Lars Larson Jondall born March 8, 1848, in Norway
MOTHER: Elizabeth Togersdatter Sabae born February 10, 1855, in Norway
MARRIAGE: to James Peter Larson on January 26, 1910, at the Lars Jondall farm in Lost Island Township, Palo Alto County, Iowa
1. Chris Larson born January 5, 1911, in Emmetsburg Twp., Palo Alto County, Iowa
2. Myrtle Elizabeth Larson born March 13, 1913, in Emmetsburg Twp., Palo Alto County, Iowa
3. Theresa Marie Larson born September 3, 1917, in Emmetsburg Twp., Palo Alto County, Iowa
4. Mamie Amanda Larson born October 6, 1918, in Emmetsburg Twp., Palo Alto County, Iowa
5. Lloyd Peter Larson born September 14, 1926, in Emmetsburg Twp., Palo Alto County, Iowa
My maternal grandmother, Theresa Marie Jondall, was born in Lost Island Township, Palo Alto County, Iowa, on March 7, 1889. She was the seventh child born to Lars and Elizabeth Jondall, and the fifth one to survive, after having lost one brother and one sister nine years before her own birth.
Theresa first shows up in the census tables for Iowa in 1895. She was only five years old. She is shown with her parents, four sisters, and one brother. Another sister would be born before the year was out.
The U.S. Census for 1900 lists her as being eleven years old and attending school. It is also disclosed that she could read, write, and speak English. She had been joined by another brother who was born in 1897. That brought the total number of children, at the time of the census, to eight. The only mistake for her listing was made by the enumerator, who incorrectly wrote her name down as "Clarissa" Jondall.
By the time of the Iowa Census in 1905, the family was complete as far as the total number of children was concerned. Theresa had another sister named Minnie. Although they were living on a farm, their post office address was Ruthven, Iowa.
Theresa isn't listed with the Jondall family on the U.S. Census for 1910. The census was taken in April of 1910, and by then my grandmother had already married my grandfather, James Peter Larson. The marriage took place in Lost Island Township, on January 25, 1910. The newly weds are nowhere to be found in the census. Maybe they were on a honeymoon and just missed being counted. I also have never found any record of James Peter Larson's mother, Inger Larson.
To follow Theresa in the census records, we next have to go to the Larson family in the Iowa Census for 1915. There, she's listed as being 25 years old and a Lutheran. Her occupation is given as that of a housewife, who had attended school through eighth grade. We are also told that she can read and write. By 1915, Peter and Theresa had two children, Chris Larson and my mother, Myrtle Elizabeth Larson.
By the 1920 census, the family had again increased in size. There were two new sisters, Theresa Marie Larson and Mamie Amanda Larson. Peter is listed as having become a naturalized citizen in 1895. His immigration year is given as being 1878, which is at odds with previous census information. I believe the correct year to be 1883. The census taker also got Theresa confused with her daughter who had the same name. My grandmother is listed as being a daughter and not as Peter's wife. And, he got Peter wrong, too. He's listed as being the wife of the family!
Grandmother Theresa died of tuberculosis on August 26, 1936, seven years before my birth, so everything that I know about her came from talking to my Mom. She always said that Grandma was a strict Lutheran and that religion played a dominant part in her life. She didn’t allow a Christmas tree or any secular activities to take place on the holidays. She would play some simple games like checkers and dominoes, but she would not allow card playing. She was a good gardener and had beautiful flowers. She was also an excellent seamstress and could make her own dresses and other clothing. My mother was devastated by her death.